How To Spot A Fake Micro Pig

fake micro pigJust as with designer jeans, designer fragrances and designer handbags, the market for miniature pigs has created an unfortunate rash of “counterfeit” breeders. Usually they are backyard breeders, who set up shop overnight trying to cash in on the demand for pet pigs.

When you go to select your pet pig, there are some pitfalls to avoid. First, just because an advertisement offers miniature pigs for sale does not mean that they are miniatures. If you are attracted by a low price that looks too good to be true, it probably is. You need to be very careful in selecting your piglet.

Look for clues that the piglet may not be a genuine or purebred Pot-Belly. If the piglet has a curly tail instead of a straight one, has no sway back, or has an unusual coloration, be suspicious.

Some barnyard varieties of the standard farm pig, known as Sus scrofa, will reach as much as one thousand to two thousand pounds.

Besides looking at the piglets, you should ask the breeder to let you see the parents, or at least pictures of the parents if the parent pigs are not available to be seen. You also might consider asking for references of others who have purchased piglets from the breeder in the past. If the breeder is reputable, he should not object to any of your questions.

The authenticity of the registration papers is likewise subject to the principle of caveat emptor, or buyer beware. There have been instances of forged or altered registration papers. In order to be sure of the veracity of any registration papers, call the registry and verify the registration information directly.

Be certain, as well, that the registration papers fit the piglet. If the registry verifies that the papers you are holding are genuine, that does not guarantee that the piglet is. If the piglet has a curly tail and hair that  parts down the middle of his back, he is part domestic farm pig, and the “authentic” registration papers that accompanied him will not make him grow up to be the purebred mini Pot-Belly you expected when you bought him.

Further assurance that you will not be selecting the wrong piglet for your pet means studying the standards. When you see the sire and dam—or pictures of them—look for poor conformation as well as for size. Poor conformation can be seen in knocked knees, bony hips, a straight forehead, or a snout that is too long.

When selecting your pet piglet, you also should expect a health certificate and the right to an examination by your own vet. The veterinarian’s examination, which normally would be at yoi cost, is probably the besi means to obtain an expert assurance that the piglet is not a “counterfeit,” is of the correct conformation, and is healthy.

Have you had any run ins with people selling fake micro pigs?  Let us know!